A Look Back at Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Career and Fall From Grace

Olmert's four-decade political course spanned the Knesset, Jerusalem Municipality and the Prime Minister's Office.

Ehud Olmert at the Supreme Court, during a hearing on the appeal in the Holyland corruption case, Dec. 29, 2015.
Gil Yohanan

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reduced former prime minister Ehud Olmert's sentence in a bribery case dating back to years before he became the premier, sending him to prison for 18 months instead of six years.

Olmert, who is to start serving his sentence in February 2016, will become the first Israeli head of government to be imprisoned.

Here's a look at Olmert's four-decade political career:

1973 — Olmert follows in his father's footsteps and is elected to parliament as member of the Likud Party.

1988 — Olmert joins the cabinet of hawkish prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.

1993 — Olmert is elected mayor of Jerusalem, beating legendary longtime mayor Teddy Kollek.

1996 — Olmert supervises completion of an archaeological tunnel by the Western Wall, triggering deadly Palestinian riots.

2003 — Olmert serves as vice premier in prime minister Ariel Sharon's cabinet.

Sharon, Shalom and Olmert, 2004

December 2003 — Olmert gives interview that runs counter to Likud ideology saying he believes Israel must pull out of much of the land it captured from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War. It set the stage for Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank in 2005.

November 2005 — Olmert breaks away from Likud to form centrist Kadima Party along with Sharon.

January 2006 — Olmert becomes acting prime minister after Sharon suffers stroke.

March 2006 — Olmert leads Kadima to victory in parliamentary elections on a platform of pushing further peace moves with the Palestinians.

July 2006 — Olmert leads Israel in the Second Lebanon War.

2007 — Olmert relaunches U.S.-backed peace talks with the Palestinians in Annapolis, Maryland.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, left, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before their June 2007 meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

September 2007 — A nuclear facility in Syria is destroyed in an airstrike that Israel is widely suspected of carrying out.

September 2008 — Olmert announces resignation to face corruption allegations.

December 2008 — Olmert leads the Operation Cast Lead military offensive against Hamas in Gaza in response to rocket attacks on Israel.

March 2009 — Olmert leaves office after Benjamin Netanyahu becomes prime minister.

Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu, March 31, 2009.

2012 — Olmert is acquitted of most serious allegations in corruption trial, raising hopes for a political comeback.

March 2014 — Court convicts Olmert in a separate bribery trial.


May 2014 Olmert sentenced to six years in jail in bribery case. Olmert vows appeal but is ordered to report to prison on September 1.

September 2014 — Israeli Supreme Court rules Olmert can stay out of prison until verdict in the bribery case appeal.

March 2015 — Israeli court finds Olmert guilty on charges of fraud, breach of trust and unlawfully accepting money in a case involving allegations he accepted cash-stuffed envelopes from an American supporter.

May 2015 — Israeli court sentences Olmert to eight months in prison. His lawyers say they will appeal.

December 2015 — Israeli Supreme Court reduces Olmert's bribery case sentence to 18 months, clearing him of the main bribery charge against him. The court orders Olmert to begin his sentence on February 15.

Ehud Olmert arrives at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem December 29, 2015.